Kathmandu’s free food distribution shifted to Thapathali from Khulamanch

Volunteers distribute free food to the needy in Khulla Manch, Kathmandu (Image: Nishant S Gurung/Nepalese Voice)

The spot for distribution of free food currently being conducted by good samaritans at Khulamanch has been shifted to Thapathali today onward.

Different volunteer organizations, including a Facebook group called 100s Group, have been providing free food to the needy and to those who lost their jobs due to lockdown issued for the prevention of coronavirus infection for the past eight months now.

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) had earlier objected to the distribution of free food in an open space, citing health and food quality concerns and had announced to stop the activity.

Following backlash from the public for its “insensitive” decision, KMC reached an agreement with the volunteering organizations that the coty will manage a closed space for the free food distribution.

KMC has allocated the space near the Paropakar Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, Thapathali for the distribution of food.

Meanwhile, Bablu Gupta, the creator of 100s Group page, said the new space in Thapathali allocated by KMC was not convenient for working class people such as porters, daily wage workers, disabled and other needy who mostly spend their time in Ratnapark and Mahaboudha areas.

“Kathmandu Metropolitan City is constantly devoted to help the helpless, disabled and physically incapable people living within the Kathmandu Metropolitan City area,” said Dhanapati Sapkota, Kathmandu Metropolitan City Police Chief, adding, “The metropolis had adapted the policy to stop distributiom of free food in open spaces due to health safety reasons and social dignity. We are taking action accordingly.”

He said that a temporary food distribution place has been allocated at Thapathali in co-ordinance with the organizations distributing free food while an initiative is being taken to distribute food at a party palace or other more organized places in the coming days.

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City had been objecting to free food distribution in open spaces citing that such act will ruin the city’s reputation as “photos of hungry people eating on the streets depicted Kathmandu as a city of beggars”.

Kathmandu Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya had accused the volunteers of trying to tarnish the administration’s name by “making a show of their good works”.